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EYE ON HEALTH

Spring Forward: Adapting to time change

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

This weekend it's time to spring forward and while that means an extra hour of daylight, it doesn't necessarily mean good news for our internal clock.

Dr. Anuj Chandra from the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders says, "So, spring forward is a bad thing for sleep."

Dr. Anuj Chandra says that's because we are already a sleep deprived society running on a sleep deficit.

Patients like William Metts says he often wakes up tired and drowsy. He isn't looking forward to the time change.

William Metts says, "It takes some getting used to, seems like about the time you get adjusted to it, then fall of the year rolls around, you're messed up again."

But, it's important to not wait until Saturday night to try and get your internal clock adjusted. Dr. Chandra says it isn't as simple as just going to bed an hour early.

Dr. Anuj Chandra says, "It takes two days to three days for the body to adjust each hour."

Waking up Monday morning may not be easy for most people and it could also prove dangerous for some drivers.

Dr. Anuj Chandra says, "It's a potential for increased motor vehicle accidents, irritability, school time incidents, and losing control."

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, here are some important things to keep in mind are:
- Stop drinking tea or coffee in the afternoon
- Don't use alcohol as a sleep aid
- Stick with a fixed bed time
- Try and unplug at least two hours before bed
- Try meditation

William Metts says, "It's kind of like looking outside it's daylight, but it's 8 o'clock at night, it really messes with you."

Bottom line moving our clocks in either direction messes with our circadian rhythm. It's easier said than done, but we must make every effort to get a more restful and longer night's sleep.

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